I can't find any record of the Grateful Dead from 7/21/71 nonetheless find the Dark Star you're talking about. I thought perhaps it could be a typo and you meant 6/21/71 but that show didn't include a Dark Star. If 7/31/71 was what you meant I would agree that Dark Star is deserving of much esteem.
Personally I would scratch that 7/21/71 (it doesn't make much sense in your list) and throw 10/31/71 on there. That remains my favorite Dark Star for its consistent musical exuberance and amazing example of the Tighten Up jam.
An interesting fact about this show (10/13/68) is that Jimi Hendrix was in attendance and waiting to go on the stage WITH the Dead. The Dead kept delaying him until they eventually finished out their set. I guess you could say they were still a little bitter after Hendrix stood them up for a jam session.
February 8, 2014 Subject:
Come On, Man!
October 1, 2011 Subject:
300 shows and I never once saw the eleven or death don't have no mercy. I still had a blast and this was a little before my time. You can't have everything and so I listen.
August 11, 2011 Subject:
I still stand by what I said about the 12th but after listening to this again I need to clarify that this show is absolutely brilliant, and a total gas. I love the Dark Star and the Other One>Crytical especially.
Really, everything here is just about as good as the night before, it's just that night before has that little extra X in the X-factor.
September 12, 2009 Subject:
What are we waiting for????????????????????????????????????????
This run of shows at the Avalon (10-12 through 10-14-68) is at least as good as the February 69 shows. No remastering necessary, just the highest bit quality please. The versions of Eleven -> Death on both the 12th and the 13th are teh best ever, bar none, and the Dark Star on the 12th is quintessential (the FM recording can be included as a bonus disc).
Do the right thing. And for the love of all that is soul-affirming, leave these streaming versions up for everyone, forever.
September 11, 2009 Subject:
I was listening to this on the bus to school yesterday and during the second jam I had to restrain myself from getting up and banging my head around.
August 5, 2009 Subject:
No Pigpen, but great Dark Star, The Eleven gets 11 stars!
A beautifully rendered Dark Star in a season of great Dark Stars, though cut off at the beginning. Near perfection. Dark Stars this good are rare after 1970.
There are a lot of great Eleven’s from mid-‘68 to mid-’69. This is one of them. The short jam near the beginning of the Eleven is dynamite, and the rest of it is hot and firey and perfection. The drummers are fabulous here. They, and Jerry and Phil, are all feeding off of each other. And the Eleven vocals are as perfect as Dead show vocals get. Then they change to the minor key for the transition into Death Don’t Have No Mercy, and the energy actually picks up before sliding gently into the ballad.
Jerry delivers a top-notch Death Don’t Have No Mercy. The guitar work is masterful. The vocal is full of soul.
This second set is better than that of the previous night. But as with most of the concerts of the late summer, early fall, the first set is better than the second. After a nicely done Other One, New Potato is average, but ends abruptly to go into drums. It’s jarring. It may be a splice, but it’s hard to tell. Drums is not that interesting--they were better in the Eleven. The show ends with some calming-but-interesting feedback/space.
Pigpen is missed in the second set. The Anthem of the Sun material is just better with Pig.
As for the all-around best shows of 1968, they’re in February-March and August. (The same months as Dick’s Picks Vol. 22 and Two From the Vault.)
There are now 5 copies of this show at archive.org. All are good quality. But you can’t go wrong with a Charlie Miller version.
August 17, 2007 Subject:
Grate listen. Read Dr. Flashback's review, that sums it up pretty well.
July 29, 2007 Subject:
hot hot hot
wow, awesome display of the dead on a good night, and there certainly were many of those. do yourself a favor and get this one, play it loud so everyone can hear, and enjoy.
May 20, 2007 Subject:
Well...crying and laughing at the same time...screaming "Garcia I told ya so"
October 31, 2005 Subject:
All the leaves were turning
This is what the dead are about, electric energy, transcendent improvisation, parallel universes etc etc.... Cryptic Envelopment part 2 - if there is a better example of blistering mind mel improvisation out there please let me know.
37 years on and this music still has you laughing with pure joy.
October 22, 2005 Subject:
Another great show
Same setlist as the previous night and nearly as good. If you're into that early, primal, psychedelic Dead sound, you probably want this one.
August 30, 2005 Subject:
The other day they Waited
Best Early Dead Ever Recorded period. You will be put in this room @ that time HAPPY TRAILS. Oh my god!!!!!!!!10+++++ A++++ sound get this right now!!!
May 15, 2005 Subject:
Great '68 Show
I'm into the sixties stuff mainly, this is a damn good show, very good sound for the vintage, young Dark Star, they're so inventive at this stage, this is the great sixties music, way beyond the rest of the West Coast scene, save for Zappa, brilliant, fullfilling...this is a must have!!!!!!
April 11, 2005 Subject:
Listening to this show right now. Been mining the 1968 I don't have lately, and although there's not much available, what's here is pure gold for hard core Dead fans! Hope to get the 10/8, 10/10 and 10/12 shows this week.
Judging from this show, as well as 10/9 (why isn't it here?) and the great 10/30 show, you just have to
conclude this was a real peak for 1968. Matter of fact, I'd almost say get August and October 1968 and forget the rest of the year. Well, almost!
I'd forgotten how good this is, hadn't heard it in awhile. The Dark Star is short but pristine, with a well delivered St. Stephen - all the parts! And the Eleven - wow! Tight focused playing. Jerry blazes away while Billy and Mickey are perfectly in synch.
And the Death Don't makes my hair stand on end,
with a stunning vocal by Garcia - he can't sing like this in 1990 folks, a word to all you cigarette smokers!
Set Two just transports you right to the Haight district with a classic sound. The Other One is
fine, the Cryptical even better, long and well jammed. And the Potato>Caution>Feedback will
completely steal your cookies - as Jimi said, "have you been experienced?"
If you're burned out on hearing Sugar Mag and Truckin for the millionth time, come on back to 1968 and see where it all started. This is the real deal.
Great show and with 2/14/68, a must have!
Dr. Flashback :-)
October 15, 2004 Subject:
I had a really excellent quality tape of this show for over 25 yrs. Unfortunately, the tape had degenerated over the years. The fact that I can replace this tape and many others digitally is mindblowing!!! Just fantastic. Much praise to the archive for making this possible. By the way this show is an excellent representation of just how much the music had matured from the early days. Quite possibly the greatest month in Grateful Dead history!!! Thanks again.
October 5, 2004 Subject:
This is my favorite show of this era. The New Pot Cab is the best version I've heard yet. A must have set!
July 16, 2004 Subject:
Nice chops all around
Everyone in the band has just about perfect chops in this performance, and it really sounds as if they're listening closely to each other. There's a stunning freshness and restraint to the whole performance that, unfortunately, is all too rare with the Dead.
An excellent, beautiful version of "Feedback." Adventurous, moody, and different.
"Death Don't Have No Mercy" sounds new, tasteful, and interesting.